International Collaborations and Research

ASLO hosted a panel discussion of international collaborative research programs at the 1997 ASLO meeting held in Santa Fe, NM. While there are many programs among various agencies which promote international collaborations, it is often difficult to identify the appropriate individual, program, or agency for a particular project. The goal of this panel discussion was to facilitate information exchange, and foster discussion about international collaborations and joint research projects. Representatives from the European Commission, U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Office of Naval Research, and the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research met and described programs and opportunities within their agencies, answered questions from the floor, and participated in discussion of issues raised by panelists and the audience.

Panelists included:

  • Elisabeth Lipiatou, European Commission, Marine Science and Technology Program
  • Paul Filmer, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
  • Polly Penhale, U.S. National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, representing International programs
  • Marsh J. Youngbluth, U.S. National Science Foundation Division of Ocean Sciences
  • Ronald Tipper, U.S. Office of Naval Research

We thank the panelists and also:

  • Steven Shugar, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • William Chang, U.S. National Science Foundation International Division

who could not attend the panel due to other responsibilities, but still provided material for this compilation.

A compilation of information from the different agencies, and web addresses for further information is presented below.

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U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)

The NSF's Division of International Programs (INT) has the special functions of expanding and facilitating the international dimensions of NSF's mission by promoting new partnerships between U.S. scientists and engineers and their foreign colleagues. Most of these programs are organized on a regional or country basis and opportunities available in certain geographic regions may not be available in others. Therefore, contact with INT staff is strongly encouraged before proposal submission. Prospective applicants should also consider international opportunities supported by other parts of the Foundation and elsewhere.

The following summarizes basic information about funding opportunities outlined in the INT Program Announcement, International Opportunities for Scientists and Engineers (NSF 96-14). Detailed information about these programs should be sought in that document.

Principal types of activities supported:

  • Cooperative research projects
  • Dissertation enhancement awards
  • International Research Fellow awards
  • Joint seminars and workshops
  • Planning visits

Support for Individuals

The Division of International Programs supports an array of activities designed to provide opportunities for U.S. scientists and engineers at various stages in their careers:

Graduate Students Enrolled in U.S. Institutions:

  • Dissertation enhancement awards to facilitate research at overseas sites in collaboration with host country institutions;
  • Summer Institutes in Japan and Korea and Research Experiences in Western Europe; these activities provide opportunities to work in overseas laboratories and to initiate professional relationships with foreign scientists and engineers;
  • Travel and living expenses to participate actively in the overseas aspects of research projects proposed to NSF by senior U.S. investigators.

Postdoctoral and Junior Investigators:

  • International Research Fellow awards to enable individuals at these early stages in their careers to pursue their own research and/or educational projects abroad for periods ranging from three to 24 months, with partial support for an additional reentry year into the United States in some cases;
  • Planning visits in anticipation of making a subsequent application for an International Research Fellow award;
  • Travel and living expenses to participate actively in the overseas aspects of research projects proposed to NSF by senior U.S. investigators.

All PhD Scientists and Engineers and those with equivalent experience:

  • Support for the initial three years of cooperative research projects planned and carried out in partnership with foreign colleagues;
  • Medium-term visits of three to six months' duration and long-term visits of six to 24 months duration for individual research projects planned in cooperation with a foreign host institution (currently available only for specific geographical regions see Part II);
  • Supplementary support to existing grants from other parts of NSF to include junior and postdoctoral investigators, graduate students, and qualified undergraduates in the overseas phases of research and education projects;
  • Joint seminars and workshops aimed at identifying common priorities in areas of special interest and, ideally, to begin preparation of collaborative proposals in well defined research and education areas;
  • Planning visits of up to two weeks duration to enable investigators to consult with prospective foreign partners in selected geographical regions to complete detailed planning for cooperative activities.

The Division of International Programs also supports research on international aspects of research and technology conducted solely by U.S. investigators or by U.S. investigators in cooperation with foreign partners.

NSF Support for International Activities Outside the Division of International Programs

Support of international activities is an integral part of the National Science Foundation's mission of promoting the progress of U.S. science and engineering.

In particular, the Foundation recognizes the importance of:

  • enabling U.S. researchers and educators to advance their work through international collaboration; and
  • helping ensure that future generations of U.S. scientists and engineers gain professional experience overseas early in their careers.

The Foundation offers several approaches for support of international scientific activities, depending on the objectives of the investigator, as detailed in the following sections.

Support Through the NSF's Disciplinary Programs

Consistent with the international character of science and engineering, disciplinary programs throughout the Foundation offer support to U.S. scientists and engineers for the international aspects of their research when those aspects are judged to be important to the specific objectives of those activities. For more information about these opportunities, see the program announcement of the corresponding disciplinary programs. The following opportunities may be of special interest:

Supplements to Awards from NSF's Disciplinary Programs

NSF's Division of International Programs invites inquiries from principal investigators on projects supported by NSF's disciplinary programs about possible supplements to permit postdoctoral investigators, graduate students, and qualified undergraduates to participate in international components of those projects. A list of all NSF programs that provide support for scientific and engineering research and education, with appropriate telephone numbers, is given as Appendix A of the Grant Proposal Guide (NSF #94-2, or subsequent editions.)

Joint Grant Opportunities for Collaborative Research at Foreign Centers of Excellence

NSF's Division of International Programs and Directorate for Engineering awards joint grants to encourage U.S. academic researchers, at the Assistant or Associate Professor level, to consider collaborative research at foreign academic, industrial and national laboratories. Research proposals of a two-year duration will be considered, with the second year of the award supporting a re-entry year at the researcher's home institution. Further information, including detailed proposal preparation and submission requirements, may be obtained from the Engineering Program Officer, (703) 306-1371.

NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science and Engineering

Recipients of these awards are expected to study in a NATO country (other than the United states), or a Cooperating Partner Country in central and eastern Europe, or at neighboring multinational institutions, for periods from six to 12 months. Recipients must have earned the PhD degree in a field of science or engineering supported by NSF by the time they begin their period of foreign residence, or have received that degree within the past five years. For additional information, including application forms and procedures, consult the publication, NSF-NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science and Engineering NSF 96-9 Information is also available by calling NSF's Division of Graduate Education and Research Development (703) 306-1696 or by Internet:

NSF Disciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowships

Several NSF disciplinary divisions offer postdoctoral research fellowships to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In most cases, applications to conduct research under these awards at an appropriate foreign site will be considered. For additional information, contact the relevant disciplinary division, as follows:

  • Joint Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Molecular Evolution (703-306-1469)
  • Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biological, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (for Biological Sciences: 703-306-1469; for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences: 703-306-1733)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biosciences Related to the Environment (703-306-1469)
  • Computer and Information Science and Technology (CISE) Postdoctoral Research Associates in Computational Science and Engineering (703-306-1970)
  • Computer and Information Science and Technology (CISE) Postdoctoral Research Associates in Experimental Science (703-306-1980)
  • Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (703-306-1550)
  • Ridge Interdisciplinary Global Experiments Postdoctoral Fellowships (Division of Ocean Sciences, 703-306-1586)
  • Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (703-306-1870)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Chemistry (703-306-1840)

Other Opportunities


Since 1991, NSF has supported joint projects in basic research in information technology with the ESPRIT Program of the European Commission. Researchers in the U.S. and in the European Union countries arrange potential collaborations, and submit parallel proposals to NSF and the European Commission, respectively, for review. Projects for funding are selected jointly by the two organizations. U.S. researchers may submit proposals, identified as candidates for the NSF-ESPRIT program, to NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, or Mathematical and Physical Sciences programs. Detailed information can be obtained by calling (703) 306-1940. The Division of International Programs will provide support for the travel of graduate students or postdoctoral investigators to participate in joint research at foreign sites. For additional information, contact a Program Officer for Western Europe (703-306-1702).

North American Research Fellows Program

Support is provided for U.S. scientists and engineers who have received their PhD within 10 years to visit research institutions in Canada or Mexico, or both, for periods of three to 12 months. The program is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Contact Division of International Programs, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230-0935; Phone: (703) 306-1701, Internet:, TDD (703) 306-0090.

Planning Visits and Postdoctoral Fellowships in Eastern Europe

NSF supports two-week planning visits and longer term postdoctoral research fellowships in Eastern Europe (including the Newly Independent States) through the National Academy of Sciences. For information about these programs contact Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418, (202) 334-2644 (phone) or (202) 334-2614 (FAX).

U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation

U.S. investigators contemplating cooperative projects with Israeli counterparts should first explore opportunities for support through the U.S.-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). The brochure describing BSF programs is available upon request from the Division of International Programs (phone 703-306-1707).

U.S.-Japan Manufacturing Technology Fellowship Program

One-year internships in Japanese companies for U.S. manufacturing engineers are available through the Department of Commerce. Their purpose is to enable the United States to maintain a competitive edge in the manufacturing arena. Participants must be employed as manufacturing engineers and have three years experience in that capacity. The engineer's U.S. sponsoring company must pay salary, transportation, and incidental expenses. The Department of Commerce provides intensive training in Japanese language, culture, and business practices, and the Japanese host companies provide dormitory housing. For further information contact: Margaret Brown, Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Phone: (202) 219-3358, Fax: (202) 219-3310.

Published Compilations of Information on Opportunities

The most recent edition of A Selected List of Fellowship and Other Support Opportunities for Advanced Education for United States Citizens and Foreign Nationals (NSF 93-147) provides summaries of fellowships available from a wide variety of Government and non-government organizations, including eligibility requirements and relevant addresses. Many of these opportunities may be available both in the United States and abroad.

The United States Information Agency (USIA) annual publication entitled, International Exchange and Training Activities of the U.S. Government, summarize the activities of 23 Federal Departments and Agencies that conduct such activities.

Major NSF International Initiatives

The National Science Foundation plays a lead role in well over a dozen international-scale projects and is a major participant in many others. The Foundation provides substantial financial support for these projects and the Foundation's senior management and staff play major roles in shaping, managing, and coordinating the programs in both national and international contexts. The following list illustrates, but does not exhaust, the major international initiatives undertaken or supported by the NSF.

Global Change Research Program

The Global Change Research Program is one of the largest and most extensive internationally coordinated research program ever undertaken. Its three major international elements are the World Climate Research Program, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Program. The U.S. component of the overall program is about half of the more than $3 billion worldwide effort. The NSF funds about one quarter of the U.S. research effort (not including satellite hardware costs), in fields including the geosciences, the biological sciences, the social sciences and the mathematical and physical sciences. Major programs involving NSF support currently include:

  • The Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS)
  • The World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE)
  • The Arctic Climate System Study
  • The Land Use-Land Cover Change Study
  • NSF also plays a key role in hemispheric or regional global change research efforts, such as the establishment of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (involving sixteen countries in the Americas), similar networks in Asia (APN) and Europe (ENRICH), and the System for Analysis, Research, and Training (START) program, designed to involve developing countries more fully in global change research.
  • The U.S. Global Change Research Program is a coordinated, multi-agency program involving major resource commitments from several U.S. government agencies. Further details and links may be found through the NSF Global Change Research Program homepage. The report, Our Changing Planet: The FY 1995 U.S. Global Change Research Program, a supplement to the President's Fiscal Year 1995 budget, is also available on-line.

Other Major NSF International Initiatives

  • The Foundation's Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) is currently a $45 million per year multinational project. In this program, about half the funds support research, and the other half, ship operations. NSF supports the major share of the program to which eighteen participating countries (Japan and Western European countries) contribute $17 million.
  • The Global Seismic Network (GSN) is the U.S. component of an international set of globally deployed seismographs. The United States participates with France, Japan, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, and Italy in a federation of networks that provides shared access to seismic data. GSN is managed by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS).
  • The multinational Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB) is coordinated under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). NSF supports U.S. participation in such projects as the Biological Research Inventorying and Monitoring (BRIM) program and the Northern Sciences Network.
  • The Arabidopsis Genome Research Project is a major international plant biology effort coordinated by NSF that involves about 2,000 researchers worldwide. Under this project, NSF supports the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (Ohio State University). which features broad international resource sharing. NSF also coordinates an international arabidopsis genome sequencing project.
  • The Human Frontier Science Program is a $40 million per year multinational effort to enhance international collaboration in multidisciplinary brain research and molecular biology. The Foundation contributes $1 million (and other federal agencies $2.5 million) to the program which involves nearly 20 U.S. research teams and 10 U.S. research fellows each year.
  • The Protein Data Bank is an internationally shared database of atomic coordinates of proteins and nucleic acids whose atomic structures have been determined by use of x-ray scattering or nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. The database resides at Brookhaven National Lab but is distributed by affiliated centers in eight countries.
  • NSF supports the networking of an expanding international group of Long-term Ecological Research sites. NSF has supported discussions between U.S. scientists and those of 17 countries to date (including China, Taiwan, and Hungary) in order to build the international network and develop collaborative activities and data-sharing among sites worldwide.
  • The Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG) is a six station network (which includes sites in Spain, Australia, India, and Chile) to observe vibrations of the sun. Construction costs for the stations amount to $18 million and annual operations are estimated at $1.4 million.
  • The AMANDA Project is a $3 million U.S.-Sweden-Germany joint effort to detect muons and neutrinos in the Antarctic ice.
  • The International Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) Program is a world-wide effort to address such common challenges in manufacturing as greater sophistication in manufacturing operations, concern for the environment, and the globalization of manufacturing. NSF supports approximately one third of the cost of U.S. participation in the program.
  • NSF supports a series of multinational studies in education conducted under the International Association for the Evaluation of Scientific Achievement or other auspices. These include the Computers in Education study, the Third International Mathematics and Science Studies involving more than 40 countries, the OECD-sponsored 23-country project on Innovation in Mathematics and Science Education, and a study on the impact of science and mathematics education on national economic development in 10 developed countries. These studies represent an NSF expenditure of approximately $2 million annually.
  • The Foundation also supports U.S. participation in the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU), its constituent societies, and several of its scientific committees such as those involved in scientific data (CODATA), Antarctic research (SCAR), oceanic research (SCOR), and problems of the environment (SCOPE). Support for these components totals about $2 million annually.
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Natural Sciences and Engineering
Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is the national instrument for making strategic investments in Canada's capability in science and technology. NSERC supports both basic university research through research grants and project research through partnerships of universities with industry, as well as the advanced training of highly qualified people in both areas.


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council fosters the discovery and application of knowledge through the support of university research and the training of scientists and engineers. The Council promotes the use of this knowledge to build a strong national economy and improve the quality of life of all Canadians. NSERC fulfills its mission by awarding grants and scholarships through a competitive process and by building partnerships among universities, governments and the private sector.

International Relations

The international section of NSERC's web site is aimed at keeping researchers abreast of the various opportunities that are available for those wishing to collaborate with their colleagues in other countries as well as informing the international research community about NSERC's international activities. NSERC helps Canadian researchers to find new international partners by making information about the research projects it supports in Canada widely available. Information on NSERC's programs and on the research projects (Spring List) funded by NSERC can be accessed from the NSERC webpage. NSERC supports international co-operation through funds granted under its regular programs. The terms and conditions of these awards are sufficiently flexible to permit their use for international collaboration purposes.

Bilateral Agreements

NSERC encourages Canadian researchers to collaborate with their colleagues abroad. It has signed bilateral agreements with several countries, which are primarily aimed at facilitating the flow of information between parties. NSERC's regular programs provide funds that can be used to support collaborations under these agreements:

  • Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation between NSERC and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
  • Memorandum of Understanding for Scientific Cooperation between NSERC and the Academy of Finland
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Co-operation between NSERC and the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) of the Republic of Korea
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific Cooperation between NSERC and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
  • Exchange of Letters between NSERC and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • Exchange of Letters between NSERC and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
  • Exchange of Letters between NSERC and the Royal Society of the United Kingdom

International Fellowships Available via NSERC

Japanese Science and Technology Agency Fellowships

The Science and Technology Agency of Japan (STA) offers STA Fellowships to promising young researchers from overseas to allow them to conduct research at national laboratories and certain non-profit research institutes in Japan. NSERC is responsible for selecting Canadian nominees for these fellowships. For information about these fellowships, write to:

STA Fellowships
Scholarships and Fellowships Division
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H2
(613) 996-2009

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) has established the JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers. A limited number of promising young researchers are given the opportunity to conduct research in Japanese universities. NSERC is responsible for selecting Canadian nominees for JSPS Fellowships. For information about fellowships, write to:

JSPS Fellowships
Scholarships and Fellowships Division
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H2
(613) 996-2009

Charpak/Vered Exchange Fellowship

The Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Society for the Weizmann Institute of Science has established a 10-year fund to promote interdisciplinary research and enhance linkages between Canada's research community and the Institute, located in Rehovat, Israel. The annual award is named after Georges Charpak, a renowned particle physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the 1992 Nobel laureate for physics, and the Vered family of Ottawa, philanthropists and supporters of biomedical research. The Charpak/Vered Exchange Fellowship provides a supplement ($20,000 - $25,000) to a researcher's NSERC Research Grant to enable him/her to do collaborative work at the Weizmann Institute for a period of six to twelve months. Alternatively, the program enables an NSERC Research Grant holder to host a visiting fellow from the Institute. Researchers in the physical or chemical sciences or engineering who wish to apply their work in the biological sciences are eligible. Detailed information on application procedures is available at university research grants offices.

NATO Science Fellowships

NATO Science Fellowships are aimed at encouraging international exchanges of postdoctoral fellows in the natural sciences and engineering. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) provides NSERC with an annual grant to finance a limited number of awards to recent doctoral graduates from the following central and eastern European countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

NATO Science Fellowships are tenable at a Canadian university that can provide the research facilities and environment appropriate for the proposed research activity. Fellows must work under the supervision of a faculty member who holds an NSERC grant (Research, Strategic, CRD) or Industrial Research Chair at the time of nomination.

Fellowships are awarded for two years subject to satisfactory progress and availability of funds. A candidate may hold only one NATO Science Fellowship offered by NSERC.

Candidates must be citizens of one of the countries listed above and must not be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. Candidates must hold, or expect to receive a doctorate by the time the award is taken up, from a recognized university outside Canada, in one of the fields of research supported by NSERC.

Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories

The Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories program provides promising young scientists and engineers with the opportunity to work with research groups or leaders in Canadian government laboratories and research institutions. The number of awards varies according to the budgets of participating departments and agencies.

To apply, submit an Application for an NSERC Scholarship or Fellowship (Forms 200 and 201), which is available from the Visiting Fellowships Office, NSERC, Ottawa, Canada K1A 1H2.

Applicants must have received a doctoral degree in the natural sciences or engineering from a recognized university within the past five years. Applications will be accepted from candidates currently enrolled in a doctoral program at a recognized university; the applicant must expect to complete all requirements for the degree (including the thesis defence) within one year of submitting an application. Awards cannot be taken up until confirmation of completion of degree requirements is received.

There are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants, but awards are subject to a citizenship quota: two-thirds of awards must be made to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. The Department of National Defence can only consider applications from Canadian citizens. Successful candidates who are not Canadians or permanent residents of Canada must satisfy Canadian immigration requirements.

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European Commission Marine
Science and Technology Program (MAST-III)

A program for research and technological
development of the European Union

Marine Science and Technology (MAST) is a program for research and technological development of the European Union, managed by Directorate General XII-Science, Research and Development, of the European Commission.

The seas and oceans now represent the new frontier of knowledge and human activity; they also play an essential role in the regulation of the climate. These two aspects are at the heart of the Marine Science and Technology programme, the aim of which is to develop the scientific and technological bases for the sustainable exploitation of marine systems and determine their precise role in global change. Research falls under four main topics, as follows :

  • "Marine Science" in order to understand the fundamental processes governing marine systems, including extreme marine environments (deep sea floors, ice-covered seas, etc.) and specific European areas (Mediterranean, Baltic, Northeastern Atlantic, etc.);
  • "Strategic Marine Research" to ensure compatibility between the exploitation and protection of marine resources. This topic includes coastal zone management and operational oceanography;
  • "Marine Technology" the aim of which is to develop generic technologies and advanced systems (platforms and instruments), in order to improve or create new capabilities for observing, monitoring and managing the marine environment and for exploiting marine resources;
  • "Supporting Initiatives" in order to improve coordination, exchange of information and develop European cooperation (advanced study courses, fellowships, access to advanced experimental facilities, ocean data management, etc.).

Different type of support is possible through MAST-III Program : Shared-cost contracts for research and technological development (RTD) projects, concerted actions for the coordination of national RTD projects, accompanying measures (studies, seminars, conferences, training, promotion of SMEs, etc).

For more information on the Marine Science and Technology Program, visit our Web site at:

For more information on Directorate General XII of the European Commission, visit our Web site at:

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The Inter-American Institute (IAI) For Global Change Research
A Regional Approach to Global Change

In recognition of the importance of a regional approach to the study of global change, seventeen countries of the Americas have signed the Agreement Establishing the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research (May 13, 1992; Montevideo, Uruguay): Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The IAI focuses its efforts on increasing our understanding of global change and its societal implications, while also building the overall scientific capacity of the region. Each country participating in the IAI benefits by the enhancement of regional relationships, establishment of new institutional arrangements, promotion of the open exchange of scientific data and information generated by the Institute's research programs, and the implementation of IAI Training and Education Programs. Furthermore, the Science Agenda of the IAI is consistent with international global change research programs such as the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP), and the International Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Programme (IHDP). The IAI thus serves as a vehicle through which the region can contribute to such efforts.

The Science Agenda of the IAI

The Institute's Science Agenda reflects environmental issues which affect the physical territories and socio-economic systems of the IAI Member Nations. The region's scientific communities, with the guidance of national representatives, have identified seven research themes and several cross-cutting themes as initial priorities of the IAI:

  • Tropical Ecosystems and Biogeochemical Cycles;
  • Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity;
  • El Niņo Southern Oscillation and Interannual Climate Variability;
  • Ocean/Atmosphere/Land Interactions in the Inter tropical Americas;
  • Comparative Studies of Oceanic, Coastal and Estuarine Processes in the Temperate Zones;
  • Comparative Studies of Temperate Terrestrial Ecosystems; and
  • High Latitude Processes.

Cross cutting themes have been identified as:

  • Human Dimensions
  • Agriculture, Silviculture, Fisheries, etc.
  • Training and Education
  • Networking, Data
  • Remote Sensing

The IAI is currently supporting about US $6 million of research and organization activities throughout the Americas, and has also initiated a series of scholarship programs that enable students from any IAI country to study global change issues at institutions throughout the Americas. A grant from the Globel Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank for US $3 million is being used to train scientists and students in the use of a common, networked Geographic Information System (GIS) to solve global change research problems.

Paul E. Filmer, Program Director

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U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR)
International Science and Technology Programs
ONR Europe

General: ONR funds science and technology (S&T) that is relevant to the needs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps across a broad spectrum of topics. For example, there has been a long tradition of collaborative research in ocean and atmospheric science with international colleagues. This has been especially true in large field efforts. A key aspect to success of such programs is early contact with ONR scientific officers and a period of planning and coordination. General information on ONR can be found on the ONR home page on the World Wide Web at From this home page you can search for topics of interest and information on programs, key organizational elements in S&T, and contact information for scientific officers. You will also find information on principal laboratories and offices such as ONR EUROPE ( and ONR ASIA (

The two field offices mentioned above are important contact points for both foreign and US investigators seeking to get information on international research and special programs designed to stimulate mutually beneficial international research. Both offices exist to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the American scientific and technical community and their counterparts abroad. They have dedicated personnel in the area of oceanic and atmospheric science and technology. They have available summaries and reports dealing with specific areas of science in their area of responsibility. Many of these document can be accessed over the Web. These field offices sponsor programs that encourage the exchange of information, facilitate scientific exchange and may partially support workshops, travel, and cooperative research programs.Those ONR investigators involved in cooperative programs abroad can contact the applicable foreign offices for coordination and assistance.

ONR EUROPE is responsible for coordination throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Dr. Alan Weinstein is the Associate Director for Environmental Science. The office address is: Office of Naval Research Europe, 223 Old Marlybone Road, London NW1 5TH, UK (Tel: 44-171-514-4964; This office manages the Naval International Cooperative Opportunities in Science and Technology Program (NICOP) for both Europe and Asia. NICOP is designed to foster international cooperative S&T by providing limited cost sharing. Funds are competitively awarded twice per year. The ONR Europe Web Site has a detailed description of this program including requirements for partners and shared sponsorship.

ONR ASIA is responsible for coordination, cooperation and communication among scientists and engineers in the Asia-Pacific Region. Mr. Hassan Ali is the Associate Director for Ocean Science and Engineering. The office address is Office of Naval Research Asia, Akasaka Press Center, 7-23-17 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Tel: 81-33-401-8924; In addition to providing information exchange and assisting collaboration between scientists, the office participates in the NICOP program and can help arrange workshops, scientific exchange and provide some travel grants.

Topics available on Web sites at the field offices include:

  • Description of the Conference Support Program including constraints on what meetings might be eligible and details on how to apply.
  • Detailed description of NICOP including information on the cooperative US and foreign sponsorship required and how to apply. Note: since a co-funding US sponsor is required, successful participation in this program usually requires significant coordination prior to application.
  • Lists of available reports on science topics including reports on major meetings held in the area of responsibility.
  • Support for foreign travel linked to ONR sponsored joint work, workshops and conferences, should be discussed directly with the appropriate subject area contact in the field offices.

In addition to programs managed by the ONR field offices, there are a very limited number of cooperative programs funded through foreign currency accounts. These programs can involve combinations of US and foreign investigators jointly working in the host country. These programs are managed by Dr. Bernard Zahuranec at ONR Headquarters. He may be reached by contacting the overall manager of ONR international programs and field offices, Mr. William J.McCluskey, Office of Naval Research, 800 North Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22217 (Tel: 703-696-6942; Mr. McCluskey can also answer questions and provide current guidance on international field office programs.